Amazon book review policy

I hope you saw the recent 5* review for Heronfield given to me by AS, for which I am very grateful. But did you also notice his/her comment about their review not appearing on my book page on Amazon?

Do you think that Amazon are right to only publish reviews from people who bought the book on their store?

Is that fair to the author and/or the reviewer?

Is this the best way to ensure that only genuine reviews appear?

Whether you are a writer or reader, publisher or editor or just someone who likes to express their views in open forum please do let me know what you think.

If you disagree with Amazon’s apparant policy then perhaps you should let them know what you think too!


9 thoughts on “Amazon book review policy

  1. One thought I had on this, is where does their policy leave people such as beta readers and advance copy readers, who take the time to read an author’s review and are willing to share. Often times the author sends out a few books for this purpose, and I for one am truly anxious to read and review when lucky enough to receive one. Sadly I can’t share that review on Amazon in those instances. Its really unfair to the author in my humble opinion.

    1. Thanks Scott, I agree wholeheartedly. I have given a few copies of my book away but the recipients aren’t able to review on Amazon. I would want honest reviews from them so I guess they wouldn’t all be five star, but perhaps Amazon thinks I’m paying these people to give great reviews? Perhaps Amazon should put a section which appears in the review and which asks where they got their copy of the book from? If the reviewer says ‘it was a gift’ then it would be up to the Amazon customer to make of that whatever they like!

      1. asks that if you review a book that you received from a giveaway, that you put that in your review. Its an honor system, but it seems to work well.
        Surely Amazon could adopt something similar, or a disclaimer like every infomercial has that says they can in no way verify the claims made in this review. 🙂

  2. I religiously copy every review I receive on Amazon and store it on a dedicated page on my blog because those review might be taken down without warning (and subsequently lost). Amazon’s policy of removal-without-explanation is upsetting. Goodreads was a safe place for those reviews – for a time – but now that Amazon has purchased Goodreads, is any review safe?

    1. I’m newly published so I only have 2 reviews so far – but they are both on a dedicated page on my website!

      Scott said he thought Goodreads policy was better but you’re right that that could all fold with the Amazon take-over. Are they aiming at a monopoly do you think? Don’t get me wrong, I think Amazon is a great place for buying and selling all sorts of things, not just books, but I do like a bit of competition and individuality too!

  3. I read my wife’s copy of Heronfield so, like AS, I can’t review on Amazon. This seems unfair as only people who already know about you and your writing can read reviews here whilst people who are just browsing on Amazon don’t get the opportunity to see what other people think of your book and so may be less likely to buy.
    I’ll send you my review anyway!

  4. Amazon is a behemoth, and I don’t think there’s any way to influence its review policies. They depend on authors, but like any publisher, care the least about their very workhorses.

    1. I agree. I have a family member who has purchased from Amazon in the past (which is their only listed criteria for making a review). She has tried twice to review my book which she didn’t buy (I gave her a copy myself), in her review she openly says the book was a gift but it is still not shown by Amazon.
      For an author the number of reviews is important because it influences our sales. Amazon don’t seem to care because if a person is looking to buy a book they will anyway, and Amazon don’t care if it is mine or someone elses!
      Still, I get an incredible amount of enjoyment from writing and from people telling me they enjoy my book, so I guess that puts things into a proper perspective!

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